Greer Girl Scouts honored as Gold Award recipients
Two Girl Scouts from Greer recently received Gold Awards for their community service projects.
Cameron Boyce and Rebecca Wu were two of 23 Girl Scouts from South Carolina recognized with the honor.
“I was so excited that all of my hard work and endurance had paid off,” Boyce said. “I didn’t realize what an accomplishment it was until I was holding the Gold Award certificate in my hands and had my troop and family to celebrate with me.”
The Gold Award is the highest award a Girl Scout Senior or Ambassador in grades 9-12 may earn.
“I was proud of myself for creating something someone else could benefit from and that people could see the work I put into it,” Wu said. “After months and months of research, meeting with others, and creating everything, it all paid off.”
On average, Gold Award recipients spend one to two years on each project. Boyce focused on the health of youth while Wu created four different age-appropriate scavenger hunts for The Children’s Museum of the Upstate (TCMU).
“The most rewarding part of the Gold Award was seeing the kids at the Judson Community Center run in their first relay race,” she continued. “It was so worth all the time and effort to see kids learn and put into effect what I had been teaching.”
The Girl Scout’s Gold Award, which can only be received once, is the equivalent to a Boy Scout’s Eagle project, Boyce said. Boyce became involved with Girl Scouts in first grade and has been a part of Covenant UMC Troop 2549 for more than 10 years.
“My troop leader, Dawn Pyle, has done a wonderful job at keeping us together across different schools and schedules as well as keeping us interested in scouting and always making it a fun adventure,” Boyce said.
Boyce was involved in cross country and other extracurricular activities at school and church while she was completing her Gold Award, she said.
“The sheer amount of hours a Gold Award requires is a challenge for any Girl Scout to commit to,” Boyce said. “It was really challenging balancing my sport, school and church activities along with my Gold project.”
As a runner, Boyce has been to many cross country meets.
“I remember seeing fellow runners whose shoes looked like they were completely worn down,” Boyce said. “If your shoes are in bad condition, your body starts to be more prone to injury, and it is hard to train effectively.
“When I decided health was my main focus for my project, I knew I wanted to help runners get good running shoes as a part of my Gold Award,” she continued.
Boyce collected 140 pairs of shoes at her shoe drive last fall. She donated a portion of the shoes to the Greenville High School Cross Country team, the Greenville Running Company’s Haiti Relief shoe drive and the Judson Community Center.
“I would encourage Girl Scouts to go the distance and obtain their Gold Awards,” Boyce said. “You learn so much by going through the process, and it is so worth it.”
Wu became involved in Girl Scouts in Kindergarten, she said. “My mom signed me up, because she thought it was a great opportunity to learn, meet people, and gain skills and experience, and I’m grateful that she did.”
“You collect so many stories over the years, and you get to meet so many people of different walks,” she continued. “You get to meet Girl Scouts everywhere, and it’s something you can talk about and bond over. It can be like you were always friends. From camping, to random trips, or the little lessons learned here or there, I see myself telling stories about experiences I had in Girl Scouts that’s helped shape who I am.”
Wu started her Gold Award project with a broad idea to work with kids.
“I wanted to do something fun and beneficial, and to help the next generation, to work with kids somehow,” Wu said, “And the first thing I thought of was to deal with education.”
“Then came the thought of how to get involved with the right organizations in town, and The Children’s Museum of the Upstate (TCMU) immediately came to mind,” she continued. “After establishing that I wanted to work with TCMU, I started thinking of how I could contribute something, and the idea of scavenger hunts just naturally formed.”
The scavenger hunts were released to the public the summer of 2016 after they were finalized and are now in place permanently, available at the front desk, she said. The scavenger hunts are tailored for four different age ranges: under five, five to seven, seven to nine and nine to 12.
“I’m still trying to expand my project, so hopefully there will be even more versions to switch through soon,” Wu said.
Wu went through many processes of interviewing and testing and gathering responses, she said.
“Kids loved the fun, and parents loved that it kept them busy,” Wu said. “I also got a lot of comments about the project idea itself being very different and impressive as well….I will also be following up one year later this fall to see how the public is reacting to it, and if anything needs to be modified.”
Wu attended Southside High School and is currently studying at UCLA, the University of California, Los Angeles. She moved from New York in 2001 and has been in Greer ever since.
Girl Scouts of South Carolina-Mountains to Midlands serves approximately 11,450 girls, grades K5-12, and 4,700 adults in 22 counties of central and western South Carolina, including Abbeville, Aiken, Anderson, Cherokee, Chester, Edgefield, Fairfield, Greenville, Greenwood, Kershaw, Lancaster, Laurens, Lexington, McCormick, Newberry, Oconee, Pickens, Richland, Saluda, Spartanburg, Sumter, and Union.
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